Rights of Neighbors
Neighbors are the persons or families, living next to our homes. They actually are nearer to us, much more than our close family members, who often live in other towns, cities, or even in other countries. But a neighbor who lives in the next house, in the same country, same town, and even the same street, you are living in. They are the persons with whom, you have to interact, much more frequently than your own kith and kin. The neighbor is one who is as important as your close relations according to Islam.
A neighbor can be a blessing or a calamity, depending upon the behavior and attitude, he shows toward his neighbors. A neighbor with patience, softness, and positivity, showing caring behavior to his neighbor, no doubt, is one of the greatest blessings of Allah Almighty. While an impatient neighbor, using abusive language, and always trying to harm his neighbor, in one way or the other, which proves to be a nightmare for the people living in his neighborhood. Sometimes, even a single person proves to be a bone of contention for the whole street.
Islam is a complete code of life. It gives you guidance and inspiration in every field of life. Similarly, Islam guides us completely about the rights of neighbors and your duties as a neighbor. According to Islam, there are three types of neighbors. Allah Almighty says in Sura tun Nisa, aaya 36
“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbor, the neighbor farther away, the companion at your side, the traveler, and those whom your right hand possesses. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.”
According to this Ayaa e Kareema, there are three types of neighbors,
- Relative Neighbor
- A stranger neighbor
- A companion of Side.
A relative when becomes a neighbor has much more rights than that an ordinary neighbor. He has many rights, the first right he has is the right as a relative. The rights of a relative, according to Islam are too immense. And when a relative becomes a neighbor in the meanwhile, his rights multiply many times.
A stranger as a neighbor has many rights according to Islam. There are two types of stranger neighbors according to Islam.
- A Muslim neighbor
- A Non- Muslim
There is no difference between the rights of a Muslim neighbor and a non-Muslim neighbor, as neighbor.
A Companion of Side:
A companion side means the persons with whom you are living in the same house, reading in the same institute, working in the same firm, etc, and other people with an acquaintance. All of them should be treated with utmost kindness, love, and affection.
Rights of Neighbors:
Till now, we have discussed the types of neighbors. Now we will discuss what rights have Islam assigned to the neighbors.
Islam gives many rights to the neighbors and emphasizes too much on the rights of neighbors.
A companion of Rasool SAW stated, Once I saw Nabi e Rahmat SAW standing with a man in the street, I keep on watching them, the man keep Rasool SAW standing for as much time, that I felt pity on Rasool SAW, then the man went away. I came to Rasool SAW and asked him about the man and the matter he was discussing. Rasool SAW said, He was Jibrail e Amin AS and he was briefing me about the rights of neighbors.
Similarly, Once Jibrail e Ameen AS came to Rasool e Akram SAW when he left, Rasool e Akram SAW said, Jibrail was briefing me about the rights of neighbors. He emphasized on rights of neighbors to such a great extent that at one point I thought that Jibrail will tell me that I should give the right of inheritance to the neighbors.
Above mentioned Ahadees are clearly showing the importance of the rights of neighbors in Islam. If we state the rights of neighbors in Islam with an explanation, we can state the rights of neighbors as follows.
If your neighbor is in an hour of need, it is the duty of the neighbor to help him to his full capacity. It is the foremost duty of a neighbor to help his needy neighbor. A neighbor can not block the air of his neighbor by building a high wall or something like that, without his permission. It is the duty of a neighbor to consult with his neighbor, before the construction of his own house, so that his path, air, or ventilation should not be blocked by the construction of his house. No neighbor is allowed to harass his neighbor at any cost. He has no right to quarrel or harass his neighbor for any reason. A neighbor must visit his neighbor off and on. He must visit his neighbor particularly when the neighbor is ill. If a neighbor seeks relief, giving him relief is the other neighbor’s duty. Lending him money, if he asks for is the religious obligation of the other neighbor. Giving the neighbor a share of fruits and food is the religious obligation of the other neighbor. If he has some good news around him, do congratulate him for that, and celebrate his happiness with him, wholeheartedly. If he commits a sin, abstain from discussing it with other people. If some problem or calamity befalls him. Last but not least the right of attending the funeral of the neighbor is the duty of the other neighbor.
In a nutshell, we can conclude that a neighbor is an important part of a person`s life, as his relatives are. In spite of always complaining about our own neighbors and stating their bad habits, we should focus on ourselves and should try our best to be good neighbors, to the people around us. This would definitely reward us in this world and in the hereafter.